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Ordinance would amend Municipal Code to replace sections regarding beer permits

By Bill ShortFlag City Logo

The Millington Board of Mayor and Aldermen has unanimously passed an ordinance on first reading that would replace sections of the Municipal Code regarding “special-use” beer permits.
Board members took the action during their Sept. 8 regular monthly meeting on a motion offered by Alderman Bethany Huffman and seconded by Alderman Mike Caruthers.
The proposed ordinance is scheduled for a public hearing and final reading at the board’s Oct. 13 meeting.
It would amend Title 8, Chapter 2, of the Municipal Code by deleting Section 8-217 and replacing it with new language.
The proposed section states that the holder of a “special-use” beer permit would be allowed to sell beer on a “temporary basis” in accordance with the following provisions:
(1) Application for the permit would have to be submitted to the Millington Beer Board at least 30 days before the event for which it is sought. But the Beer Board would have the right to waive the 30-day period.
(2) A $50 fee would be due and payable when the application is submitted.
(3) No permit would be issued for any location other than the premises owned and regularly operated by the applicant in the ordinary course of its activities.
(4) Each permit would be valid for a stated period not to exceed 48 hours.
(5) The permit holder would be liable for the acts of all individuals serving beer under it.
(6) No permit would be valid for the sale and consumption of beer on any premises for which a permit had been revoked within the previous 12-month period. And no permit could be used on any premises owned or leased by a “person, firm, corporation, joint stock company, syndicate or association” possessing at least 5-percent ownership interest in the establishment that had any permit revoked within the previous 12-month period.
(7) No permit would be valid on any premises located within 300 feet of a church, school or its playground, unless the “catered event” is sponsored and conducted by the church or private school for its own benefit.
(8) No applicant would be granted a permit more than four times in any 12-month period.
(9) The Beer Board could impose any additional requirements and conditions on the permit and its holder that it considers necessary for the “health, safety and security” of the city’s residents.
During discussion shortly before the vote, City Attorney Gerald Lawson said that, under the existing Beer Ordinance, only “non-profit 501(c)(3) entities” are allowed to obtain “special-use” beer permits.
But he noted that the “host” of the Air Show scheduled later this month at the Millington Regional Jetport is a “for-profit entity.”
“So, we’ve made some changes to accommodate that situation,” he said. “That will allow them to continue to sell beer at the Air Show, as they’ve been doing previously with other folks.”
But Lawson emphasized that the permit holder would still have to fulfill all the responsibilities and conditions set forth in the entire Beer Ordinance.
In response to a question by Alderman Larry Dagen regarding Subsection 3, Lawson acknowledged that it is a “carry-over” from the existing ordinance with no changes made to it. But the attorney said he believes it had more of an effect on non-profit organizations.
“I would imagine that was a protective measure to keep people from renting venues for the weekend and having a special event,” Lawson said. “It could cause some confusion with the Air Show, specifically.”
Caruthers said he thinks the board should take a “hard look” at Subsection 3 to determine whether it is necessary.
“I don’t see where that paragraph means anything,” he contended. “It probably doesn’t need to be in there anyway.”
Lawson said he will attempt to provide language to “tailor” the subsection to the specific situation that the board will be facing. But if the board desires, he can delete it from the proposed ordinance before the final reading.
City Attorney Charles Perkins said he and Lawson believe the entire Beer Ordinance should be “overhauled.”
“But that’s something that’s going to take some time,” he concluded. “We’ve got a number of other ordinances that need to be overhauled. We’re getting into that, now that we’ve gotten through some of the other issues.”

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October 2014
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